The Ports of Liberia: Economic Significance and Development Problems

  • Willi Schulze


The rapid economic development of Liberia since 1945 has been closely connected with the development of modern ocean terminals. When in 1934 the rich magnetite deposit of the Bomi Hills (Fig. 6.1) was discovered by the Dutch geologist Terpstra, the syndicate of the William H. Mueller Company could not make use of its concession because of the absence of suitable port facilities. In 1938 geologists from the United States Steel Company investigated the ore body and made an unfavourable report in which ‘the difficulty of shipping such a material as iron ore by surfboat operation’ was emphasised, with the result that the company lost interest.1 It was only in 1946, when the construction of the free port of Monrovia was well advanced, that the Liberia Mining Company was established by the American businessman and engineer Landsdell K. Christie. With the completion of the port in 1948 and the first shipment of iron ore from the Bomi Hills in 1951, a new chapter in the economic history of Liberia began, during which the country has become not only the main producer of the mineral in Africa but also one of the principal suppliers of the world market. Without her modern ports Liberia could not have reached her present level of economic development.


Development Problem Economic Significance Port Development General Cargo Total Tonnage 
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Copyright information

© W. Schulze 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willi Schulze
    • 1
  1. 1.Marburg UniversityGermany

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